Bichards step up to the plate for table-toppers

LIONS A head the top division by a single point having narrowly battled past the bottom placed side Lions D 6-4.

On top form: Ryan Bichard.
 (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28817151)
On top form: Ryan Bichard. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28817151)

With leading player Ben Foss absent, Ryan Bichard stepped up to the plate strongly with a trio of singles wins over Liam Robilliard, Steve Ozanne and Charlotte Casey, dropping just the single end to Robilliard in the process.

Jamie Ferbrache added wins over Ozanne and Casey, however it was the former encounter which was the most hard fought.

Ozanne led 2-1 and had leads in both the fourth and fifth ends, however Ferbrache showed great fight and turned around the final two ends to clinch them 12-10, 11-9. His victory over Casey came in four sets.

Bichard and Ferbrache teamed well to win the important doubles rubber over Robilliard and Ozanne in four sets.

There was a welcome rare return to action for Luke Bichard, with the rising Island cricket star and Lions ad-hoc reserve playing his first table tennis since 2017.

He was unable to add any further wins for his team, but improved as the night went on, taking a set off Ozanne in the final match of the night. Robilliard picked up the other win for his side courtesy of a four-set win over Ferbrache.

Whistlers A came through a tight affair of their own over third-paced side Lions B, also 6-4.

Lawrence Stacey continued his strong start to the season andcked up another three singles wins.

He beat Phil Ogier and Dawn Morgan in four sets, before defeating Andre De Carteret in straight sets in the final match of the night.

Matt Casey and Ryan Gilson each added straight sets singles wins over De Carteret and it was the duo of Stacey and Gilson which came through a tight straight sets win over Ogier and De Carteret in the pivotal doubles clash.

Lions C picked up their first point of the season after battling to a 5-5 draw with fourth placed side Whistlers B.

Paul Hainsworth joined Lawrence at the top of the averages having lost just one singles match this season and he was instrumental for his side, defeating Josh Stacey and Ben Sharp in four sets as well as earning a straight sets win over Ellis Tomlin.

He also teamed up with Sam Clark to win their first doubles match of the season after they edged a close four-setter over Stacey and Tomlin. Clark had a strong evening himself as he made a super comeback from 2-0 to defeat Tomlin in an extremely tight affair which ended 9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 17-15, 13-11.

Stacey and Sharp each defeated Clark in singles action, whilst all Whistlers players earned straight sets singles wins over the Lions reserve Ian Le Page.

Whistlers D remain two points clear at the top of Division Tw, and their 5th successive win of the season was their best as it was a 10-0 whitewash over Ravenscroft Panthers B.

Martin Sarre, Craig Dunning and Paula Le Ber all dispatched Oscar Pearson, Amy Wesley and Juliette Yeaman in singles action, however Pearson and Wesley each narrowly lost out to Le Ber in 5 sets, whilst Pearson suffered another five-set loss at the hands of Dunning, having earlier led 2-0.

Sarre and Dunning won the doubles match against Wesley and Yeaman in straight sets.

In Division Three, Ravenscroft Panthers D are now a point clear at the top of the table after rivals Whistlers G slipped to their first defeat of the season.

The Panthers side have looked in command in each match thus far this season and a 7-3 win was obtained over their C side this week.

Shaun Mosley continued his good start to the season with wins over Mick Ingrouille, Brandon Ferbrache and Melissa Johns. Steve Martin beat Johns and Ingrouille, whilst Mark Windsor added a further win over Johns. Mosley and Martin won the close doubles game against Ingrouille and Johns in five sets.

Whistlers G, on the other hand, actually slipped to third as a consequence of their 6-4 defeat to Whistlers F, who are now in second position and just a single point behind the leaders.

Stuart Sarre was in super form for his F side as he powered through matching four-set wins over Ken Falla, Erik Teteruck and Max Burrows.

Brother Darren earned an impressive straight sets win over Teteruck, whilst Matthew Board battled back exceptionally well from 2-0 down to overcome Burrows in five sets.

It was Sarre and Board who navigated the crucial doubles rubber over the tricky combination of Falla and Teteruck in five sets.

Lions J are still two points clear at the top of Division Four and they earned their first whitewash of the season, with Whistlers H on the receiving end.

Lionel Jones, Graham Mallett and Derek Cave all beat Oskar Cleal, Alex Cleal and Sabato Folmi in singles action, whilst Mallett and Cave teamed to beat Oskar and Alex in straight sets in the doubles match.

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